Author(s): Alex McKay
It is 50 years since the great 1967 All Blacks World Tour. Drawing on interviews with the surviving players, Alex McKay tells the remarkable story of events leading up to the tour, the historic series of 17-match wins, and how rugby in New Zealand has been transformed since then. 1967 witnessed worldwide social change in music, arts, sport and society. New Zealand saw the end of traditional 'six o'clock swill' and society started to move beyond the accepted standard of 'rugby, racing and beer'. The All Blacks team was at the centre of a dominant culture and this 1967 team is seen as having been enormously significant, not only in transforming the style of the game from a defensive to an attacking focus, but in the personal histories of its players. Many from the 1967 team went on to achieve success off the field - three players were knighted, while four other players were elected to Parliament. Their prowess in rugby was a major part of their young lives and it influenced many successful and fulfilling careers in teaching, business and farming - skills of discipline, management and leadership inspired by visionary coaches and the ethos of New Zealand in the 1960s.
Alex McKay attended Whangarei Boys High School and was a young ball-boy in Okara Park in 1967. He is probably the only rugby writer who is also a Tibetan/Himalayan historian, a former NGO worker in Bangladesh, North Sea oil rig worker and Sydney private detective. He lives in rural New South Wales with his artist wife.